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Gaines works to implement zoning changes, updates to comprehensive plan

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 February 2016 at 12:00 am

GAINES – The Town of Gaines in January approved a comprehensive plan for land use and now the town is pushing to implement some of the changes, including creating a land use map

The Town Board on Tuesday voted to spend $11,400 for General Codes to revise the town zoning map to reflect changes from the comprehensive plan. The current map is confusing with contradictions, Town Supervisor Carol Culhane said.

“It would bring us a lot of clarity and confirmation,” she said.

Mike Grabowski, the ZBA chairman and town’s representative on the Orleans County Planning Board, also was given permission by the Town Board on Tuesday to work on digitizing the map with James Bensley, the director of the county’s Planning Department.

One big change includes an expanded commercial zone on Route 104 from west of Brown Street Road to east of Route 279.

The comprehensive plan also encourages the town to create an overlay district to better preserve and promote historic sites in the town, including the Erie Canal and the Cobblestone Historic District.

The town also wants to encourage single-family development to preserve the rural character of the community. The town is also open to extending public sewer lines in the future, with the priority given to higher-density areas for residential and business development, and also for residents with pollution problems from their sewage disposal systems.

The comprehensive plan also adds multiple definitions of farming including enclosed farm operations (greenhouses), agricultural industrial operations (large-scale cattle, hog, dairy and poultry farms). Traditional Open Land Farming Operations include crop farming (vegetables, fruit, grain) and hay farming.

Culhane said now that the comprehensive plan has been adopted, there is more work needed to implement the plan.